March 29, 2004

book story

Danís working late tonight, so I did Damianís entire bedtime ritual myself tonight. Including the part where a parent lies down with him and tells him a story. Dan makes up the stories. Damian and I agree that I can just tell him real life stories. Hereís tonightís:

I didnít learn to read until I was six and in first grade. The summer before I started first grade, I asked my mom to play with me but she was too busy reading her book. I got mad and told her I would never learn to read. She laughed and said I needed to know how. So I said ďOkay, well, Iíll only read things like street signs and directions and stuff. Nothing for fun.Ē And ran off to play.

Well, then first grade started and I learned. We didnít have fun books to start with, just Run Spot Run and See Spot Run. I got tired of reading about Spot the Dog, so I started looking at our books at home. And I started reading them. Go Dog Go, the Seuss books, Maurice Sendak. And I loved it. I loved it so much I started reading all the time. When I was a little older, Iíd carry a book to school and read in between classes (and in class, too, Iíd secrete a book in my desk and read it while the teacher was talking, but I didnít tell Damian that). I brought books everywhere. On the subway. To the movie theater so I could read before the movie started. Walking down the street. I always had a book with me the way you (Damian) always have a frog. Reading was like becoming someone else, living their life and doing what they did. I felt like I was with Max, like I was King of all the Wild Things, or like I was the bunny in Goodnight Moon, looking around my room at night or like I was Dorothy in Oz, meeting the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion and falling asleep in the poppies. I loved having a story in my head. Thatís why I became a writer, so I could always have a story in my head, one I was telling. I still love reading and I still love books and now I love writing too. Itís all about stories.

I donít care if Damian becomes a writer like me. In many ways, Iíd rather he didnít. Itís a difficult road. But I do hope he takes after me in his love of books. I think he will. I think maybe he already does.

Posted by Tamar at March 29, 2004 09:34 PM